You can’t beat getting in from work, putting your feet up and sticking on a movie to wind down the day and switch off from the stress that your job might entail, can you? It’s the perfect remedy. Depending on your mood, you’ll no doubt mull over which genre of movie to pick from and flip between two or three before narrowing it down to the final one. The chosen one, if you like. Hollywood has always provided plenty of excellent casino-based movies, normally using Las Vegas as a backdrop for crime, debauchery or something altogether different. Five of the most iconic casino movies are discussed below.
Released in 1988 and starring the likes of Dustin Hoffman, Mission Impossible star Tom Cruise and Valeria Golino, this Barry Levinson film usually crops up when it comes to assessing casino-based classics. Charlie Babbitt, played by Tom Cruise, thinks he’s due a large inheritance payout after the death of his long-estranged father, only for him to be left with his dad’s prize roses and a 1949 Buick Roadmaster. It then transpires that there’s actually $3million he could be entitled to, although Raymond Babbitt (Dustin Hoffman), his autistic-savant older brother that he didn’t know he had, has the vast sum of money. Raymond’s ability to remember trivia and his general skill when working with numbers lands the two brothers in Las Vegas, where they hope to have success in the casinos, with blackjack being the game Raymond masters.
Casino Royale is a favourite with both casino and, especially, James Bond fans alike. A movie that rebooted James Bond into the 21st century, this Martin Campbell 2006 classic is an entertaining watch. Secret Agent Bond is tasked with defeating a private banker who has links to terrorism in a high stakes game of poker. From there, chaos ensues and OO7, played by Daniel Craig, has to do what he does best and halt the bad guys in their tracks.
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
Starring Johnny Depp, Benicio Del Toro and Tobey Maguire, this Terry Gilliam movie is on many people’s all-time favourite movie lists. A strange, pretty crazy journalist and his psychopathic lawyer travel to casino filled Las Vegas for what essentially is drug-fuelled madness. Their psychedelic adventures make this a movie full of general weirdness and odd moments, but it’s part of its charm and what makes it such a fascinating, gripping watch. Probably not one for the kids, though!
Directed by arguably one of the greatest directors of all-time in Martin Scorcese, this 1996 classic is as casino based as they come! The movie shows two sides to Las Vegas – the style, glitz and the glamour and the dodgy dealings, brutal beatings and the ugly side of the city. Starring Robert De Niro, Sharon Stone and Joe Pesci, this tale of greed, deception and power is a masterpiece.
Starring George Clooney, Brad Pitt and Julia Roberts, alongside a whole host of other big names, Ocean’s Eleven is a robbery classic. Directed by Steven Soderbergh, Danny Ocean and his eleven accomplices hatch a masterplan to rob three Las Vegas Casinos at the same time, namely the Bellagio, the Mirage and the MGM Grand. You’ll struggle to find a casino heist movie to rival this one, especially one with as many twists and turns throughout and with a cast filled with Hollywood stars. Simply unmissable!
[Written by External Partner]